Motivation Articles

10 Ways to Get Organized for Weight Loss

Great Reasons to Change Your Environment

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Linda came rushing in, 20 minutes late for our training appointment, extremely apologetic. When she was ready to leave her home, with plenty of time to arrive promptly, she realized her sneakers were not in her gym bag.  After searching frantically, she found them in the back seat of her car. Today’s tardiness was a variation on a regular theme.
John had a goal to eat a healthy breakfast at home before leaving for the office every morning. When I asked John to tell me how the week had gone, he replied, ''The first day went fine. I did eat breakfast at home but then ended up late for my morning meeting. Then I had to stay up very late that night to complete a project, which caused me to hit the snooze button the next morning—not once, but several times. And of course, that meant no time for breakfast. Eating a healthy breakfast at home is a lot more challenging than I thought it would be.''
After 30 years of working with clients, I often see a strong correlation between disorganization and difficulty with sticking with a weight-loss plan—and the inverse, too. The more organized my clients are, the more apt they are to reach their weight-loss goals. For overweight individuals who desire to take off the extra pounds, no matter how good their intentions are, overhauling their diet and activity might not be the best first step.
Losing weight requires motivation, determination, and will power, as well as changes to eating, exercise, sleep, and stress-management habits. But what we seldom hear about is how important it is to be organized. It’s extraordinarily difficult to prep healthy food and get to the gym if you don’t have an organized schedule to fit it all in. For the chronically disorganized, creating a more orderly lifestyle might just be the best first step toward changing habits in all of these areas.
If you are reading this and thinking about the many areas of your life that are disorganized, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and discouraged. But don't panic. There are many small steps you can take to regain control of your life—and your body. One small change will often have a criss-cross effect on other areas in your life.  By spending a small amount of time getting more organized before embarking on a weight-loss journey, you will find the weight comes off more easily. Here are some ways to create a calmer life to support your weight-loss efforts.
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About The Author

Ellen Goldman Ellen Goldman
Ellen founded EllenG Coaching, LLC to help individuals struggling with health issues that can be impacted by positive lifestyle change, such as weight loss, stress management, exercise, and life/work balance. As a certified professional wellness coach and certified personal trainer, Ellen holds a BS and Masters in Physical Education and is certified by ACSM, AFAA, and Wellcoaches Corporation. Visit her at Get her complimentary report, 52 Tips, Tools & Tricks to Permanent Weight Loss Without Going on a Diet, at

Member Comments

  • Love to keep my apartment clean and organized. It is amazing what I can get done in just 15 focused minutes in each room.
    barb - 5/24/2016 12:00:44 PM
  • calendar
    I also have fat fingers !! lol - 4/22/2016 11:32:07 AM
  • thank you for the idea !! I just put into my Google calander, 4 x week - a reminder in yellow .. (yellow is warning light )
    but I still HATE cooking !
    :( - 4/22/2016 11:30:50 AM
  • Please read. Clearly the author is not aware of the problem of Executive Function.
    I really go nuts when " authorities" make comments about behavior when it's really a neurological problem. Educate yourself before you judge others

    xecutive functioning issues aren’t considered a disability on their own. They’re weaknesses in a key set of mental skills. And they often appear in kids with learning and attention issues. What are executive functions? How do they impact learning and everyday living?
    • Keep track of time
    • Make plans
    • Make sure work is finished on time
    • Multitask
    • Apply previously learned information to solve problems
    • Analyze ideas
    • Look for help or more information when it is needed
    How Executive Functioning Works
    Another way to understand your child’s difficulties is to see how the process of executive functioning works. Here is an example of how the process works, broken down into six steps:
    1. Analyze a task. Figure out what needs to be done.
    2. Plan how to handle the task.
    3. Get organized. Break down the plan into a series of steps.
    4. Figure out how much time is needed to carry out the plan, and set aside the time.
    5. Make adjustments as needed
    6. Finish the task in the time allotted.
    - 3/20/2016 1:25:43 PM
  • ECB6298
    Having dropped over seventy pounds and regained nearly ninety, I am now working my way back down, net ten pounds down now. I found this article really helpful, and outlined its points in my tracking journal to review as I work my way down. Off to watch TV while working on the stationary bicycle, part of my scheduled exercise for the week. - 2/28/2016 9:11:08 AM
  • I'm going to make this my goal. - 2/22/2016 1:35:59 PM
  • Not to be negative, but this article stressed me out! I love the tips it offers, but I still feel pressure to de-stress (ironic, huh?). My house is anything but quiet (4 cats, 3 dogs, 2 kids, 1 husband). By the time my full-time work day is done, I go home to be a full-time mom. The kids' school is probably my biggest stress, so I wish there was a way to "organize" that away! I don't have weight loss issues though, so I feel blessed for that. - 2/4/2016 11:23:05 AM
  • Loved this article! It really reflects everything going on in my life I need to take charge of! - 1/4/2016 11:37:30 PM
  • This is spot on. Nearly every morning I'm searching the measuring cup/spoon container for a tablespoon and just about tossing the whole cabinet. I can almost never find socks (my husband steals them even though they don't fit him). Etc. Etc. Time to get organized! - 1/4/2016 8:03:34 PM
  • Definitely can relate to this article. - 12/27/2015 3:09:11 PM
  • so true - need to get my life and home organized - 11/27/2015 3:56:15 PM
  • Wonderful article! I am trying to get organized.....tha
    t is one of my goals for November. The article gave great tips. Thanks! - 11/11/2015 8:36:40 PM
  • A great article. I am so blessed that DH does the majority of the cooking (I'm happy to clean up!) and our home is a calm sanctuary. Since I"m retired, most of my time is spent either working at my bench (I fool around with copper wire/metal for jewelry making, etc.) or sitting at the computer doing inventory on jewelry offered for sale at various shops, or managing our neighborhood watch group, or here on SparkPeople.

    My bench and desk are always messy . . . that will be my first goal for this week.

    The second goal is to kick up my activity level..... I have a reminder bell on my computer that goes off at the top of the hour, reminding me to get up and move . . . . well, now I'll get on the treadmill for 5 or 10 minutes in addition to talking a walk around the yard. - 9/22/2015 11:50:02 AM
  • I loved this article, it provided excellent info and offered suggestions on how to organize all aspects of one's life. Clearly we all know that exercising and eating healthy are key components in wellness, but not everyone has oodles of extra time and can magically get everything done and head to the gym. These practical types just might help many find the time to exercise and cook a healthy dinner. Love me some order and organization...I just never considered their significance and the role they play in my journey to healthier living! - 9/15/2015 6:30:55 AM
  • ORGANIZATION IS THE KEY....One of my strong points...I AM BLESSED!!! - 9/15/2015 6:13:03 AM

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